The participation of nationals in the country's workforce is expected to double this year from its current level of 10 per cent, according to a top official of the National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia).
Noora Al Bedur, Director of Tanmia Employment and Skills Development Centre, said: "There is an annual rise in the number of appointments for nationals in the private sector by Tanmia. We aim to appoint 3,000 nationals in the private sector this year – a 10 per cent increase over last year's levels."
She was speaking at the conclusion of a three-day conference in Abu Dhabi on the challenges facing human resources in the GCC. "Despite this being a small percentage, it is great in such a competitive and big employment market," she said. Al Bedur said Tanmia had succeeded in appointing close to 11,000 nationals in the private sector since its establishment in 2001, including 2,467 last year".
"We hope to increase this to more than 3,000 this year, especially in Abu Dhabi. The number of nationals joining the workforce in Dubai and the northern emirates is much greater than in Abu Dhabi and that is why the authority plans to re-open its office in Abu Dhabi soon," Al Bedur said. A few days ago, Tanmia launched a strategic programme for the year 2009 under the theme "Tahfeez", which means motivation in Arabic, that aim to offer businesses and business owners a guidance mechanism in choosing suitable UAE nationals for potential work opportunities.
On whether the international financial crisis might have had an impact on the national workforce, Al Bodour said: "There is no danger on national employees. Most companies in the private sector think twice before terminating their services and instead work on re-structuring their positions for other roles."
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